Women's Basketball's Road To The WNIT: Bobcats Face Temple In First Round On Thursday Night

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (22-9) at
Temple University Owls (21-9)
Thursday, March 15 - 7 p.m.
McGonigle Hall - Philadelphia, Pa.

WNIT First Round – Bobcats Travel To Temple
The Quinnipiac University women’s basketball team (22-9, 13-5 NEC) makes its second appearance in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament when it travels to play a first-round game at Temple University (21-9, 13-1 A-10) on Thursday, March 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia, Pa.

Live stats, video, and audio will be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the Quinnipiac women’s basketball schedule at the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com. Fans can listen to the game live on AM-1220 WQUN with Bill Schweizer and Bill Mecca.

Ticket Information
Tickets can be purchased with cash-only for $8 and $6 for students or per person in groups of 10 or more. Fans have the option of paying by credit card next door to McGonigle Hall at the Liacouras Center Box Office.

Scouting Temple
Prior to this season’s WNIT berth, the Owls had competed in the NCAA Tournament for eight consecutive years. Temple enters Thursday’s WNIT first-round game at 21-9 on the year, its ninth straight year with at least 20 wins. The Owls advanced to the Atlantic 10 semifinals, where they fell to Dayton, who went on to win the A-10 Tournament.  Prior to the loss, Temple had won 14 contests in a row. The Owls are currently led by A-10 Player and Defensive Player of the Year, senior Shey Peddy. Peddy paces the team with 17.2 points per game, which also led the A-10 conference. Fellow classmate Kristen McCarthy was selected to the A-10 second team as she’s averaged 12.9 ppg and 6.3 rebounds per contest. Peddy and McCarthy have both surpassed the 1,000-point mark in their four seasons at Temple. Together, the Owls average 65.4 points and 37.6 boards per game, with a + 9.5 scoring margin.

All-Time Against The Owls
Thursday’s match-up marks the first meeting in school history between Quinnipiac and Temple.

A Look At The WNIT Schedule
The winner between Quinnipiac and Temple will face the victor of Harvard versus Hofstra sometime on March 17-19 in round two of the WNIT. A third round will take place on March 21-23, before the Quarterfinals and Semifinals occur between March 24-29. The championship game will be held on March 31 at 3 p.m. and will be broadcasted by CBS Sports Network.

WNIT History
Quinnipiac is in search of its first national postseason win as it plays its second Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Bobcats attended its first tournament back in 2008 with a first-round contest against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponent Iona. Quinnipiac dropped the postseason game, 71-59, on March 19.

Last Time Out
In its most recent outing, Quinnipiac lost to Monmouth in the Northeast Conference semifinals, 69-66, on March 6, 2012 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats were led by sophomore Brittany McQuain’s team-high 20 points and freshman Samantha Guastella’s game-high eight rebounds. Despite the loss, Quinnipiac posted a 43.4 field-goal percentage, and out-rebounded the Hawks 34-to-27. Although, Monmouth led by as many as 16 points in the first half, Quinnipiac battled back and held a four-point advantage midway through the second stanza. The Bobcats were down by two points with a minute remaining, but were unable to finish the comeback. Monmouth went on to lose the NEC Tournament Championship to top-seeded Sacred Heart, 58-48, who recently drew Georgia Tech as the #13 seed in the Des Moines Regional  in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Career-Highs In The Postseason
QU’s Brittany McQuain recorded a career-high 20 points in the Bobcats’ NEC semifinal appearance against Monmouth, while Samantha Guastella matched a career-high eight boards.

NEC Tournament History
Quinnipiac has collected a 7-13 record in Northeast Conference Tournament action, reaching the championship game once during the 2006 season. QU has also appeared in six semifinal contests, including this year’s second-round match-up against Monmouth, its first since 2008. This season’s quarterfinal win against Mount St. Mary’s marks the Bobcats’ first NEC Tournament victory since 2008, as well.

2012 NEC Women’s Basketball Awards
Felicia Barron, the Bobcats’ top scorer and national leader in steals throughout the regular season, was named NEC Defensive Player of the Year. She was also selected to the All-NEC first team, while freshman Jasmine Martin, the team’s second-leading scorer, received All-Rookie honors. Prior to postseason play, Barron posted 17.1 points per game, while Martin averaged 10.9 ppg.

On The Road Again
The Bobcats play their first road game of the postseason, after hosting five consecutive games in Hamden, Conn. at the TD Bank Sports Center. QU finished the regular season with three NEC contests, prior to hosting two NEC Tournament games. The Bobcats went 2-3 in those last five outings, but post a 12-2 mark on the road. Quinnipiac has continued to play better on the road, shooting 41-percent in away games and 36.8 percent at home.

This Year Against A-10 Opponents
Although QU has yet to play Temple, the Bobcats have posted a 2-1 record against Atlantic 10 opponents during the 2011-12 season. Earlier in the year, Quinnipiac picked up non-conference wins against Massachusetts, 66-63, and Rhode Island, 72-67, in overtime. The Bobcats lost to Saint Joseph’s, 71-54, later in the season.

1,000-Point Scorer
Red-shirt junior Felicia Barron became the 18th player in the Quinnipiac women’s basketball program to reach the 1,000-point mark as she scored 15 points in QU’s NEC quarterfinal game against the Mount. Barron has now totaled 1,011 career-points and a career-high 518 points this year. The 5-7 guard has continued to lead QU in points per game (16.7) throughout the 2011-12 season.

Brittany On The Boards
Forward Brittany McQuain has paced the Bobcats in rebounds in 25 of its 30 games this season. She continues to lead QU in rebounds with 9.6 boards per game for a combined 298 in her sophomore campaign, which rank third in Quinnipiac’s D-I history and seventh all-time for rebounds in a single season at QU. After matching a career-high 17 boards against Mount St. Mary’s and pulling down seven against Monmouth in the NEC Tournament, McQuain increased her career-total in rebounds to 514, which rank fifth in Quinnipiac’s D-I history for career rebounds.

Stealing Streaks
Felicia Barron has continued to pace the nation in steals per game throughout the 2011-12 season. Barron had at least one steal in all 31 games this year, while leading the Bobcats in steals in 23 of its contests. The 2012 NEC Defensive Player of the Year currently ranks second in the national standings in steals per game (4.2).

RPI Rankings
Quinnipiac enters the 2012 WNIT with an 84th ranking in the NCAA Women’s Basketball RPI. The Bobcats are second in the standings amongst NEC opponents, behind NEC Champion Sacred Heart. Last week, QU was in the 75th position.

Fierce Freshmen
Quinnipiac freshmen have had a tremendous rookie season. All five freshmen Bobcats who’ve seen action this year have played in at least 29 games. Two rookies rank in the top-five on the team in scoring offensive, including Jasmine Martin with 331 points on the year and 11.2 ppg. Samantha Guastella has registered 199 points and averages 6.4 ppg.

Sensational Scoring
The Bobcats currently rank second in the NEC in scoring with 68.2 points per game, while their scoring margin of +5.5 also ranks second. Felicia Barron currently ranks fifth in the league and in the top-75 of the national rankings with 16.7 points per contest. Jasmine Martin (11.2 ppg) and Brittany McQuain (10.7 ppg), the Bobcats’ second and third leading scorers, also rank in the top-20 of the NEC in scoring.

Bobcats On The Boards
Quinnipiac remains the NEC’s leading team in rebounding with 42.4 boards per outing. The Bobcats have collected at least 50 rebounds in four outings this season. Brittany McQuain leads the Bobcats’ rebounding efforts with 9.6 rpg, which also ranks third amongst NEC opponents and in the top-40 of the national standings.

NEC Notes
Besides leading the league in rebounds, the Bobcats also rank first amongst NEC opponents in steals per game (10.8) and with a turnover margin of +3.29. Besides its offensive efforts, QU ranks second in assist/turnover ratio (0.86) and in assists per game (14.65).

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu